Sanctioned Rosneft to shed quarter of HQ staff

September 04, 2014 - 11:51:53 am

MOSCOW: Russian state oil giant Rosneft, which has been hit by Western sanctions, will cut up to a quarter of the staff from its administrative headquarters in Moscow, the business daily Kommersant reported.

"The company could cut 20 to 25 percent of the staff -- some 1,000 employees," the newspaper said, citing sources close to the company.

Kommersant said that a number of employees at the Moscow headquarters had jumped in recent years, especially with the $55 billion (42-billion-euro) acquisition last year of rival TNK-BP.

A company spokeswoman, speaking to AFP, denied plans for "massive job cuts" but acknowledged that "Rosneft is working to reduce its expenses, including by optimising its staff levels."

Washington has targeted state-controlled Rosneft, preventing it from raising anything but short-term funding in US markets, for its paramount role in Russia's oil industry and because its chief Igor Sechin is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.

The US sanctions appear to be hurting the company's finances, with Rosneft appealing to the government for help to refinance part of $45 billion of debt it took on as a part of its drive to become Russia's top oil company. (AFP)